Ori Rom-Tzimt may be just 11 years old, but she comprehends the significance of assistance and giving back to us all. With a sensitive heart, she pondered what she could do to help children of the south who have lost so much and decided to try and return their lost toys.
Ori, who resides in Kibbutz Ramat Rachel and attends the Luria Elementary School for Music and Dance, shared that the idea for her initiative arose from the challenging emotions that have accompanied her since the recent wave of terror attacks on the Gaza border communities.
"These past days have been tough and even frightening," she said. "When I heard about children in the South who had to leave their homes without their belongings, I knew I had to help. I thought about the younger kids who probably don't understand what's happening around them, who just miss their things. I put myself in their shoes and imagined how I would feel in their place."
According to psychological literature and research, one of the key elements that help young children during times of transition and change (and especially in times of stress and war) is what professionals call a "transitional object" – a blanket, a teddy bear, or any cherished item that infants and children bond with, using it to process their emotions. During tough times, like the ones we're currently facing, such an item can offer a sense of security, comfort, and reassurance.
Ori didn't need all the psychological explanations to understand that this is precisely what can help young children. "If I were in a situation like this at this age, the one thing I would want besides my family, of course, is my stuffed bunny, Arnold," says Ori. "I realized I couldn't personally bring the missing toys to those kids, but perhaps we could help them get something very similar. I immediately talked to my mom, reached out to my friends, Yuli and Lea, and together we got to work."
Ori's mother, Yonat Rom-Tzimt, indeed rallied behind her initiative and posted a Facebook message, which garnered numerous responses and shares. "Through the Facebook post, many people came forward, offering assistance, donations, and even just writing to express how much it meant to them to read about this idea and to know that people care, including about children," Ori recounts.
"A company called Wix reached out to me, and they are setting up a volunteer website to centralize all incoming requests, offers, and aid. We also connected with a woman who's seeking toys for children just like us, so we suggested joining forces – adults and kids – to make this something even greater."
For assistance or to receive a doll, please contact Ori by email - Booba.firstname.lastname@example.org